How are you doing with being present in your life and showing up for yourself this week? (Yes, I read Amy’s email too!)
I am learning the importance of taking small steps, making good choices in the moments of desire, despair, exhaustion, grief, and anger.
One decision I made for the new year was starting the Wendy Speake’s 40-day Sugar Fast. Sounds ridiculous, right? (and not small). After years of struggling with running to sugar when I’ve had bad days with my son. It was time. Every in patient hospital stay, I would peruse the donuts, candy bars, and the amazing Mississippi Mud cake. Our children’s hospital cafeteria offers the most delicious one you’ve ever tasted. I would eat the entire thing, and not save anything for my husband taking the night shift.
For me, this was a small step because I had been saying no, making excuses far too long. When that same ideas are pressed upon your heart, repeatedly, maybe it’s time to act. More than not eating candy or chocolate; it’s about replacing the longings of my stomach and my heart with Jesus. Pursuing the Bread of Life instead of rewarding myself at the end of a long day with my favorite, Hi-Chews!
As we take something away from our lives that might be harmful (whatever that might be), we should replace it with something helpful: God’s word, worship, a quick walk, stretching, coffee with a friend, and maybe a daily prayer.
This month, we are talking about perseverance on the podcast. Perseverance doesn’t come by just deciding to do it one day, but rather its all the small decisions, and purposely redirection of our longings away from temporary fixes to long-term satisfaction.
“How’s the fast going?” you ask. It’s okay; I have good moments and bad, but the important thing for you and me is that we’re creating great habits, by taking small steps. This prayer from John Eldredge’s book Resilient reminds us that every time we want to turn to temporary fixes, turn to Jesus instead, as He gives the strength that prevails. May this become your prayer today. When you feel your heart replacing your longings for things to be better with things other than Jesus pray this:
“I choose you. I choose you, God. You are my life. I give my heart to you and you alone. I’m so filled with longing for things to be good again. I want (name what you want to get better) to be better. I put my hope in the restoration of Eden. I give my heart to you and your return. You are the only safe place.
If any of this spoke to you today, feel free to reach out to me.
Don’t forget to listen in to this month’s podcast episodes on perseverance.